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COCORIOKO » Blog Archive » President Ernest Koroma tells UN General Assembly about Sierra Leone’s achievements and challenges

President Ernest Koroma tells UN General Assembly about Sierra Leone’s achievements and challenges

President Ernest Koroma tells UN General Assembly about Sierra Leone’s achievements and challenges

Published on September 24, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

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Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday addressed the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly .
 Here is the speech below :
Mr. President, I would also like to convey my since re appreciation to your predecessor, His Excellency, Mr. Ali Abdulssalam Treki, for the efficient and effe ctive manner in which he conducted the pre ious session. My gratitude also goes to the Secretary-General for his
comprehensive account of the United Nation’s work and his analysis of the challenges facing our global community.
In my statement to you I would like to talk about both the successes that my country has achieved with the help of the international community, and the reforms that are now
needed to the way in which we interact and govern ourselves globally.
Mr.
SIERRA LEONE’S DELEGATION AT THE 65TH SUMMIT OF THE UN : FROM LEFT : PRESIDENT KOROMA, WITH MILITARY ADVISER RON HARLESTON SITTING BEHIND HIM : FOREIGN MINISTER ZAINAB BANGURA WITH CHIEF OF PROTOCOL ALUSINE SEASY BEHIND HER; AMBASSADOR ANDREW BANGALI; INFORMATION MINISTER I.B . KARGBO , AMBASSADOR RUPERT DAVIES AND UN MINISTER  PLENIPOTENTIARY , LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU
Mr. President,
My Government is incerely grateful for the international community’ s engagement with
Sierra Leone’ s efforts to put the country on a path to sustained economic growth and
development. Building on this engagement, our country has significantly improved our
international standing in many areas:
SOME OF THE MANY SIERRA LEONEANS WHO WENT TO HEAR THEIR PRESIDENT SPEAK. MORE PHOTOS TOMORROW.
The Global Peace Index now ranks Sierra Leone as the 53rd most peaceful country
in the world;
• The Mo Ibrahim Index records that we are one of th five crisis affected countries
that have made a significant leap forward in democratic governance;
• A recent IMF  review shows improvement in public finances, with our 4% annual
economic growth rate higher than the average 2% growth rate of Sub Sahara
Africa;
• And we ha e also made steady progress in our rankings on Doing Business,
Corruption Perception and Democracy.
In addition:
• Earlier this year I was a proud recipient of the peace prize awarded by ACCORD
on behalf of the people of Si rra Leone:
PRESIDENT KOROMA WARMLY GREETS SIERRA LEONEANS AND FRIENDS OF SIERRA LEONE WHO CONGRATULATED HIM FOR HIS BRILLIANT SPEECH
Only last week my country received the Millennium development Goal award for
showing outstanding  Ieade rship in the figh t against HIV/AIDs, malaria and other
diseases – MDG 6;
Mr. President,
My Government has also continued to emphasize the protection of the basic rights of the
peopl of Sierra Leone:
• We have put in place comprehensive justice sector reforms in response to both
national and global demands – to ensure both that the rights of citizens are
preserv ed, and that we ach ieve access to justice for all.
• And the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone has assumed a lead ro le in
advising my Government on building a cult ure of human rights. It ensures that my
Government ratifi es internat ional treaties and protocol s and fulfills its reporting
obligations. A case in point is our recent validation of the Common Core
Document that forms the basis for all reporting on international treati es.
Sierra Leone is among the few countries emerging from co nt1ict that have formulated a
comprehensive ac tion plan for Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820. My
government is determined to ensure its effec tive implementat ion, part icularly in
address ing gender-based violence as well as the enhancement of women ‘ s participation in
politics and the public sector.
PRESIDENT KOROMA IS CONGRATULATED BY ATTORNEY EBUN AFORO OF GEORGIA
Mr. President,
My Government’ s commitment to free media is equally strong:
• No journalist has been imprisoned in my co untry since my assumption of office .
• We have transformed the Government owned Broadcasting Services into what is
only the second independent public service broadcaster in Africa, the Sierra
Leone Bro adcast ing Corporation (SLBC). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
witnessed the launch of this historic and groundbreaking initiative in June this
year. It is the beginning of a new era of access to independent, unbiased, and
impartial information in our country.
FRIENDS OF SIERRA LEONE CONGRATULATE PRESIDENT KOROMA
Mr. President,
My Government is als o delivering resu lts on the key prior ities in my Agendafor Change
to improve the lives of all Siena Leoneans :
• We have launched free healthcare for preg nant and lactating women and children
und er 5 for the first time in our history, imp roving access to around 300 ,000
women and over a mi llion children .
• We have also begun to seriously commercialize agriculture, the mainstay of our
economy, through commercializ ing particularly smallho lder farmers, where we
are facilitating improved mechanization, irrigation and the stablishment of
fann ing cooperatives.
• We have successfully made significant progress on road construction and the
rehabilitation of electricity supply in key provincial cities and towns, to generate
economic activity across the country .
• We have made large strides in attracting large-scale private sector investors from
intern ational companies, following the Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum
in London last year.
 Further,  to maintain macroe economic stability and make these achievements sustainable, my Government also remains firmly committed to the fight against corruption,
Despite this progress , many challenges remain. I am proud of what Sierra Leone has
achieved so far – but we still need to further enhance our capacity to promote and protect
human rights, establish goo d governance and managerial capacity across the whole public
sector, and fight corruption and narcotic drug trafficking. For this our country will need
further technical assistance and cooperation, private capital investments and transfers of
technology.
Most importantly we are also not oblivious of the imperative of consolidating peace
through enhanced political dialogue, tolerance and ensuring fair electoral process.
With this and our political resolve, we will make further progress towards peace , security
and a stable, open democracy.
Mr. President,
Let me now turn to the theme of this session: “re-affirming the central role of the
United Nations in global governance.” It could not have been better timed than at a moment when the global community is grappling with myriad challenges within the international system. The end of the ‘cold war’ , together ith an explosion in information and communication technologies gave rise to a new paradigm of ‘ fl exible or lose’, functional coalitions involving state and nonstate actors.
 A new configuration of interdependent relationships of economic, social, political and ethical nature has emerged from these historical circumstances. nThere are fears that ‘ globalization’ nurtures dominance of power politics, a growing disparity  between the North and the South, intolerance of different values, a tendency to resort to force to solve international conflicts, and a neglect of the environment; at the same time, it has Ied to a multi-leve l governance s stem that is beginning to address global issues ranging from economic interdependence, mi gration, financial crises, drug trafficking to pandemics such as tuberculosis, Avian flu , HIV/AIDS and malaria.
It is in recognition  of this imperative of promoting multilateralism and of building
syne rgies with both state and non-state actors, that I commend your choice of theme.
More than any other organization, we support the United Nations as a centre of global
governance . It has a unique characteristics of global mandate and universal membership.
This makes it an indispensable and neutral catalyst for the achievement of ” international
cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social , cultural, or
humanitarian character”. This centrality of the ro le of the United Nations in global
governance cannot be over-emphasized.
The recently concluded High-L evel Stakeholder Meeting on the Millennium
Development Goals revealed that progress has been uneven and developing countries,
particularly those in Africa, continue to be most vulnerable to the effects of globa lization.
The prevailing global recession resulting from the economic and financial crisis that
struck developed economies has further compounded this challenge . In this context, my
Government believes that the UN remains the crucial hub for norm setting and
harmonizing the actions of nations for the maintenance of int rn tional peace and
security as well as the attainment of our development goa ls.
Mr. President,
This Assembly, meeting at the turn of the millennium, decided that reforming and making the Security Council more accessible, transparent equitably represent ative and accountable was lon g overdue. This brings me to the crucial issue that has led us in Africa to consisten tly reiterate that there can be no meaningful reform of the Council without allocating permanent seats to the continent.
No one continent should have an exclusive monopoly over membership of the Security
Council. There is no justification for a discriminatory allocation of seats, nor can we
debate endlessly and ignore the realities of our rapiclly changing global circumstances.
While the 5th round has not genuinely led to compromise-oriented solution, to distill  all
positions into a single negotiating document has been a significant step in the right
direction. We in Africa look forward to and support a process that will allow the text to
evolve during the next ses sion of the GA in an open , inclusive ancl balanced manner,
towards a solution that can garn er the widest possible politi cal acceptance by Member
states . We urge all delegations to muster the political will required for progress.
I would like to conclud my statement by saying that the mom nt is here to address the historica l  injustice inflicted on Africa by allocating no less than two seats with a ll its attributes and
privileges , and two additional sca ts in both the non-perm anent and permanent categories of the Council. I do not need to emphasize that at the inception  of  the United Nations most of Africa was not represented and that, as a result, Africa to this day remains the only continent without a permanent seat in the Counc il. To ensure greater relevance of the Security Council within a revamped United Nations sys tem Africa demands permanent representat ions in the Security Council with a ll the requisite attributes.
I thank you for your kind attention.
MORE PHOTOS TOMORROW
Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu
Minister Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN
245 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017
Tel:  (212 ) 688 – 1656 Ext. 18

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